Benz Mining Corp. [BZ-TSXV, BNZ-ASX] shares rallied sharply Friday after the company said multiple spodumene pegmatites were intersected during maiden drilling at the company’s Ruby Hill West lithium project in Quebec
Benz is focused on projects in the Eastmain Greenstone Belt in Northern Quebec, which is prospective for gold, lithium, nickel, copper and other minerals. The company is earning a 100% interest in the former producing high grade Eastmain gold mine, Ruby Hill West, and Ruby Hill East projects. All three are located in Quebec.
Visual observations of spodumene bearing pegmatites in core confirm the presence of multiple pegmatite dykes in the area confirming the prospectivity of the area, Benz said in a press release, Friday.
The announcement comes after Benz confirmed the presence last year of visible spodumene in a pegmatite at the Ruby Hill West Project, indicating lithium mineralization which the company has said it intends to explore this year.
In a press release in early February, 2022, the company said high grade lithium mineralization had been encountered over a large outcropping area at Ruby Hill West, with additional high-value credits from rubidium, caesium and tantalum.
“Looking into satellite imagery and airborne magnetic data, we can see that the outcrop is surrounded by a very large prospective area which has been virtually unexplored apart from sporadic helicopter supported field visits,” said Benz CEO Xavier Braud in the February news release.
On Friday, the company said it has completed a maiden drilling program consisting of six holes or 1,176 metres at Ruby Hill West.
Highlights include the following:
- A strong visual intercept of 31.3 metres of spodumene bearing pegmatite from 3.4 metres in hole RHW22-006.
- Multiple pegmatite dykes over 200 metres of strike show a possible dyke swarm at Ruby Hill West and confirm the discovery of a new mineral system.
- Drilling targeted spodumene-bearing pegmatite under an outcrop which had returned 2.59% Li20, 1970 ppm Rb, 1030 ppm Ta, and 7530 ppm Cs as well as 1.9% Li20, 3160 ppm Rb, 3820 ppm Cs, 274 ppm Ta
The shares advanced on the news, rising 23% or 14 cents to 74 cents on volume of 176,470. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of 97 cents and 52 cents.
Additional drilling is expected to follow on after field campaigns are completed.
Lithium occurs in potentially economic concentrations in three types of deposits: pegmatites, continental brines and clays.
Investor interest in the lithium sector is tied to the fact that the soft white metal is a key ingredient in the production lithium-ion batteries which are used in small electronic devices, including smart phones, laptops, and electric vehicles.
It is widely anticipated that demand for the vehicle battery metal will increase sharply over the next several years as automakers shift their focus away from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles.